“Some days you feel a bit pathetic. People look at you like ‘oh there’s that silly girl again, trying to get some coins,’ but the thing is, I never play for the money. Sometimes I even give my money away to homeless people, or I just buy some food with it and share it.
One time, I also had a really weird experience with a man who wanted to jump off a bridge and he was crying. He was a homeless guy, in trouble, he just felt no meaning in his life any more. I was singing happy songs at that moment, and I felt really good, like I could help him! So I think I sort of stopped him from jumping. It was quite intense, he was a bit confused afterwards and I helped him find his way to the train station. I gave him some money and left him on his way. Yeah, I guess those kind of people always come to me, because I’m just nice to everybody and they feel seen.”Lotte Walda
Lotte Walda is the golden haired girl with a golden heart.
Born in Heerlen, Limburg in the south of the Netherlands, this alternative pop/folk artist is an established singer/songwriter who says she wants to show her love for people and nature through her music. Well known as a busker, Walda says she will continue to share her songs as a street performer, no matter how far her music career takes her.
Walda says she knew from as young as 3 years old that she wanted to sing. When she learned to write, she began to create poems which she says is a passion that has continued throughout her life.
“When I turned 15, I participated in a contest where I needed to write an original song. That’s when I started writing songs, and I totally adore it,” she said. “It’s so beautiful to have the ability to write something to inspire other people. Actually, after that contest, everything started flowing and I just knew that music was my path. But I think I always knew that.”
Walda has busked all over the world, including Portugal, Greece, America and China. “I travel a lot, just everywhere I go, I do some busking.”
We invited Lotte to the blog so we could share her awesome music and you could read a little of her story.
How long have you been busking?
I started busking in the city where I grew up, Heerlen. I was 15 years old and scared! It was super scary to just stand there on the street and start singing. But I’m so glad I made the decision to do it. It was a new world for me! After busking for the first time, I started doing it every week. The older I became, the more I busked in other places as well. I often go to Maastricht to sing on the Old Bridge, I also wrote a song about that, which will be out on the 24th of April.
Tell us why you love it so much
I just totally love busking because of the fact that everything that happens is spontaneous.
You have more one-to-one contact with people. Plus everybody gets to choose if they want to listen and stand still, or not. So I think when people listen, they really want to. It’s a beautiful thing.
I’ve experienced many ”blissful” moments when I’m busking. I love it when a little kid, who is at first scared to come to me, is later dancing to my music, those little things are so wonderful. It really makes me feel alive! No matter how far I go with my music, I will keep on doing this. It’s just such a different feeling to standing on a stage (which is also really nice) because with busking, you are not asked to play there. So it’s totally fresh for the people every time.
In a way, you have to open yourself completely, which is still quite scary sometimes. But then when you do, and play a few songs, you feel, ‘yeah this is the day’ and then you’re just totally flowing. Laughing.
When you come to that state of happiness, people feel the happiness, and beautiful things can happen!
Are there bad things you’ve experienced?
Yeah. Of course, bad things always happen sometimes.
You have days where you just feel a little bit pathetic, people look at you like: ‘ah there’s that silly girl again, trying to get some coins’. You just feel it sometimes. But the thing is, I never play for money. Sometimes I even give my money away to homeless people or I just buy some food and share it. So I don’t mind when I don’t get a lot of money, but it’s just that you feel the opinion of other people sometimes, and on those days sometimes I can’t find my flow. On those days, I’ll just decide to stop and play some music somewhere else.
One time, I also had a really weird experience with a man who wanted to jump off a bridge and he was crying. He was a homeless guy, in trouble, he just felt no meaning in his life any more. I was singing happy songs at that moment, and I felt really good, like I could help him! So I think I sort of stopped him from jumping. It was quite intense, after that moment he was a bit confused and I helped him find his way to the train station. I gave him some money and left him on his way. Yeah, I guess those kind of people always come to me because I’m just nice to everybody and they feel seen.
If you could change something you’ve seen on the streets, what would it be?
Damn, many things!
Of course you see many homeless people which is a shame. I wish everybody would just have a place to go to and enough food to eat.
Then there’s also the rich people with their shopping bags. Sometimes it’s quite heavy to see how much money they spend, while others don’t have anything. Plus the world is suffering and we should all do something about that, instead of buying more and more things.
So yeah, I wish people would be more aware of this planet, share more, recycle more, go to vintage stores more. Instead of buying new and new and new items all the time. Plus sooo many plastic bags! Please bring your own bags people.
Do you think busking can survive an increasingly cashless society?
Hmm, good question. Well actually, I don’t do it for the money, so I don’t care. We’ll see. If there would be no cash money any more, I would keep on playing and then I guess people would just feed me. Buy me food or something, that’s always nice. I’ve had that many times, especially in the winter. People bring me hot chocolate milk or something, it’s so sweet. It’s the feeling people give you, not the cash.
You write your own material – choosing a couple of your favourites, what can you tell me about them?
I like my song ‘Let it flow’. It brings me in a flow, which is a nice thing. It’s a happy, uplifting song about letting it all just come to you! It’s also about a little girl who’s not daring to do what she loves in this society because she’s afraid she might fail. So she’s unhappy. And I sing to her that everything will work out fine, if you just choose to follow your heart.
Another song of mine is called ‘The old bridge’ which is particulary about playing on the street, on the bridge of Maastricht. I describe the feeling of busking in that song and I am really excited because it’s not out yet. I wrote this song in Nashville with Suzy Brown and I really love the simplicity of playing on this bridge, and this same simplicity is also in the lyrics. (We’ll be sure to share Lotte’s release on Busker What’s Your Story?)
I also wrote a song called ”Barefoot” which is about walking barefoot. I love walking barefoot! In the summer, I do it all the time. I often play this song when I’m busking in the summer, it gives people a summery vibe and it’s just a really happy song.
What’s next for Lotte Walda? Will you busk for us in Australia one day?
Yeah sure! I will go many places with my music and I am deeply trusting my musical path.
Some days I feel worried, some days I feel it’s all not going fast enough. But when I look at the bigger picure, I can see what I’ve experienced already. I feel so grateful. I just know that my path will take me to many more beautiful places where I can share my voice with everyone who’s willing to listen.
Right now I’m working on my second album and I’ve made a plan with my agent/management, so hopefully these people can help me with my career.
No matter how big I become, I will never stop busking. Because I just love it. It gives me freedom and I love freedom. On the other hand, it also gives me a sort of certainty. Because I can always choose to travel where ever, open my guitar case and start singing. Oh what a beautiful thought!
You can find Lotte here on her socials:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/lottewaldasings
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/LotteWalda/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/lottewalda/
Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/artist/0IkirifajdauvWWt6wZkC6?si=kPhfx_fGTfS_2mNxyzQutw